JUST THE BASICS: Tips for Healthy Eating, Diabetes Prevention and Management

Being Physically Active to Live Well With Diabetes

Why be active?

Regular physical activity will improve your blood glucose control. You will also feel better in body and spirit.

The Canadian Diabetes Association's Clinical Practice Guidelines recommend at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week for adults between the ages of 18 and 64. This is the same recommendation that is made by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

You can break that down into 30 minutes of being active, five times a week. Build time for physical activity into your daily routine. Try to be active most days of the week.

Stay active by walking

Image of Running ShoesHealthy physical activity can be as simple as going for a brisk walk with your pet. Or, you can choose to take the stairs rather than the elevator or escalator. You can get off the bus one stop early and enjoy the walk home. In bad weather, many people go for walks in the local mall.

Start from slow walking. When you are ready, slowly increase your pace.

There are lots of ways to stay active:

  • raking leaves
  • jogging
  • swimming
  • housework
  • climbing up and down the stairs

Try some resistance exercises

Challenge your muscles twice a week. Examples of resistance exercise are:

  • weight lifting
  • push-ups
  • sit-ups
  • exercises using a giant elastic band called resistance band

Do some aerobic activity

The Canadian Diabetes Association's Clinical Practice Guidelines recommend that your 30 minutes a day be moderate to vigorous aerobic activity.

Moderate aerobic activity makes you breathe harder and your heart beat faster. You should be able to talk, but not sing. Examples include walking quickly, skating, and bike riding.

Vigorous aerobic activity makes your heart rate increase quite a bit. You won’t be able to say more than a few words without needing to catch your breath. Examples include running, basketball, soccer, and cross-country skiing.

Get active with your family

Instead of watching TV or going to a movie, take a bike ride around the neighbourhood. Go swimming at the local pool. Challenge yourself by trying something new. For instance, learn to dance or do yoga.

An active lifestyle will help you manage your diabetes!

Learn more about getting active: Tips to Get Active

Learn more about diabetes at www.diabetes.ca